Day 1 – Thursday June 3rd 2010
We needed a dog & house sitter to take a little break, and as my mum was just about to leave the country, she needed a place to stay for a week or two. In theory the timing was good, but I’ve got to say, 4.30am after a lousy nights sleep is far too early to deal with my mum! She refused to go out without a shower (I was driving to the airport and then she was going straight back to our house – my parents have flown a lot, and understand needing to get there early to check in and go through security, so there was really no excuse) so we got to the airport 10 mins before check in closed. I have never been that late to a flight before. I was incredibly embarrassed to be one of ‘those’ people who were rushing and panicking about making the flight. At least we didn’t have to wait long to board & take off – so there is always a silver lining. They never even checked our ID as we checked in, so that sped the process up a bit! (Who knew you could get on a flight in this day & age without showing ID?)
Flight was good, just after we took off the sun came up so we had the most awesome view!! Unfortunately it was a bit too early in the flight to be pulling out a camera, so it’s one of those memory only situations. There were lots of clouds the whole way but it gave me something to look at. We were a little early arriving into Sydney airport, and got put in a holding pattern, but that turned out to be a good thing – Ben has had air pressure pain when flying before so we descended really slowly because of the holding pattern & he was ok.
Last time I was in Sydney we caught a shuttle bus to the hostel, but this time we decided to get a train. Which was a bit busy at that time of morning but oh well. We squeezed in all right & the normal commuters were clearly used to suitcases being in their way as they tried to get to work. I turned the wrong way out of central station though, and we went on an extended route to the hostel…whoopsies! The scenic route… But luckily for us, our room in the hostel was already empty so we got to check in right away. I think normal check in is around 2pm so it was nice to put our stuff in a room rather than a communal luggage locker. We headed down towards Haymarket/China Town and found a little food court in an office block and finally had breakfast at around 9 or 10am. We went to Market City and Paddy’s Markets and wandered around. (http://www.paddysmarkets.com.au/ (http://www.paddysmarkets.com.au/)) I wanted to buy some cheap handbags and iPhone cases in the markets but didn’t want to carry them all day so I decided to go back another time.
Somehow, after that, Ben got hungry again and we walked to McDonalds because he really wanted a pickle. He even managed to confuse the staff by asking to have a pickle added to a bacon cheeseburger, which apparently isn’t allowed. Go figure. Australia is very weird about such things. We’re a bit of a failure at consumerism when you can’t pay to have what you want if it’s outside the ‘rules’.
Unfortunately, weather wasn’t that great, but we headed off to the Chinese Gardens next. (http://www.darlingharbour.com/sydney-Things_To_DoChinese_Garden.htm (http://www.darlingharbour.com/sydney-Things_To_Do-Chinese_Garden.htm)) I love the Chinese Gardens. They’re so pretty. But it kept raining while we were there and I kept having to put my camera away We still spent a while walking around in-between showers and avoiding the school groups that were there. Since we were so sleepy we sat for a long time too!! I just adore photographing the Chinese Gardens – I could do it all day:
After that we headed down to Darling Harbour and across the bridge to the Aquarium. (http://sydneyaquarium.myfun.com.au/
(http://sydneyaquarium.myfun.com.au/)) It turned out to be cheaper to buy an all in one ticket to the Aquarium, Wildlife World and Sydney Tower than it was just to buy tickets to the Aquarium & the Tower, which were the two things we were actually wanting to do. We grabbed some food to share before we went in though – some Thai noodles and with veggies something or other… anyway it was a lot nicer than most food court food.
One of the first things in the Aquarium is a Turtle. This turtle decided it loved me and kept chasing me up and down the glass, so I could barely photograph it. It was very cute though and I’ve never had a turtle fall in love with me before.
Some of the exhibits had changed from the last time I was there, but the majority of it was the same. I felt the tourists (yes, I’m excluding myself from them now!) annoying me a little, running around and taking flash photos in the underwater tunnels, kids ramming past to have a look (I’m not exactly a kid person, and if I’ve paid to go in somewhere, I expect to be able to see as well!).
As always, the Aquarium was filled with pretty animals, and I made sure we went to my favourite part of the Aquarium, the huge underwater viewing area.
Despite not really being all that interested in the Wildlife World (as we were going to go to Taronga Zoo), it’s right next door to the Aquarium, so we went right away. I saw a few things I’d never seen before, like a 5m crocodile & a kangaroo drinking.
This sounds all short-timed written down, but at the Aquarium and Wildlife World we spent a lot of time walking, standing watching presentations and all that. It makes you hungry!! So after we were finished with the Wildlife World we sat down & shared another snack of wedges. Really good ones too. Fluffy and not over cooked.
We wandered after that… and I actually can’t remember where we ate dinner. I was upset to find out that the little Italian place next door to the hostel closed down. Very recently too, by the looks of it, all of the signs were still up & it looked like furniture was stacked up inside. I had been looking forward to eating there again.